RANGER AGAINST WAR: Peace Through Superior Firepower <

Monday, March 19, 2012

Peace Through Superior Firepower


If you want to make peace,
you don't talk to your friends.

You talk to your enemies

--Moshe Dayan


If I listened long enough to you

I'd find a way to believe that it's all true

Knowing that you lied
straight-faced while I cried

Still I look to find a reason to believe

--Reason to Believ
e, Tim Hardin


Whatever gets you to the light 'salright, 'salright

Out the blue or out of sight 'salright, 'salright

Don't need a gun to blow your mind oh no, oh no

--Whatever Gets You Through the Night,

John Lennon

_________________

This is a re-visitation of Sniper School prompted by reader Blackhawk's cogent comments.

Ranger saw a car decal yesterday which featured a B-52 aircraft laden with bombs configured as the Peace symbol with the caption, "Peace -- Through Traditional Means", which means bombing people into the hereafter. On the same window was the Jesus fish.

The stickers were diametrically opposed, but that person had integrated them in an attempt to make meaning in a world of conflicting messages. At least, that's my best-case assessment.

So it is with Blackhawk's position vis-a-vis mine. It is possible we are saying the same thing. I am saying we must maintain our "humanity", but really I mean our "sanity". We protect our humanity by preserving or clinging to threads of sanity. This is a often futile effort as sanity and humanity are rare qualities in our conflictual society.

Our histories are often exercises in self-deception and delusional thinking for the purpose of forming a cohesive story, one with purpose, direction and intent. Like the person sporting the opposing stickers, believing in both antithetical ideas separately would lead to conflict; however, if he can wed the ideas, he can create a new thing -- a cohesive tableau in which one idea supports or results in the other. We feel sensible once we make that synthesis, no matter what contortions.

Slavery -- exploited by both the North and the South -- also did not jibe with the Christian imperative, but we justified it by pro-rating the value of men of color. The same juggling was performed with the idea of pirates.

Early pirates were sanctioned as Privateers. We then built an economy based upon slavery and piracy, yet now we kill pathetic Somali petty pirates doing what we once did as a matter of policy. It is situational ethics: Sometimes a bad thing can be called a "good", especially when it furthers our own agenda. People do not do what they should do or have to do -- people do what they WANT to do.

The point is that we have two standards of conduct which breeds irrationality and riven thinking which permeates all aspects of our lives. When Ranger says we must retain our humanity even in war, perhaps he too has succumbed to the insanity, for killing is not humane.

We all do what we must to get out of bed in the morning. We all have personal survival techniques, and mine is the belief in humanity despite evidence to the contrary. It's a loose grip, at best.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Blackhawk said...

Jim,
It would seem humanity and killing in war are 'constructs' that are polar opposites, but necessary to one's sanity as you point out.

My view as a human who has 'sanction killed' is and has always been less forgiving especially when it came to 'self'. As luck would have it, I worked in Public Safety after 'our war', and have been forever glad I got a chance to pay humanity back, especially my own fragile sense of....

I struggle to believe in the innate goodness in people at the same time, always with a jaundiced eye to what humans are really capable of. As to sane how my 'construct' balancing act is, can be measured with your yardstick, it makes me hound dog tired....

Cheers,
BH

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 12:29:00 PM GMT-5  

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